No fear of the top teams, says Workington Reds’ Boyd
Last updated at 20:32, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Midfield maestro Mark Boyd believes Workington Reds have nothing to fear heading into tomorrow’s curtain raiser and declared: “We’re playing Stalybridge Celtic, not Glasgow Celtic.”
Workington face a hellish start to the new campaign with promotion favourites Chester, Halifax and Guiseley following Celtic’s visit to Borough Park (3pm ko).
But Boyd said it was better to play the stronger sides first.
“Getting the bookies’ choices out of the way first is fine by me,” he added.
“We have no reason to be scared, and we go into the new season full of optimism.
“We know the expectation level is not as great this year, but we have standards we want to preserve, starting with a win over Stalybridge.
“There is no better time to play these teams, and people have to remember it’s only Stalybridge Celtic we’re playing, not Glasgow Celtic!
“Last year we went into the season with the play-offs in mind. It was a burden in many ways because people expected too much.
“That pressure is not there this time around, which will allow us to play our natural game.
“Team spirit in the camp is high, and we know we have enough quality to cause teams problems.”
Boyd has shed 21 pounds during pre-season, and will cut a svelte figure when he takes to the pitch after losing 17 per cent of his body weight.
Before starting an extensive programme to lose weight ahead of the new campaign, Boyd weighed 14 stones five pounds but now checks in at around 12st 10lbs.
He could be joined in the middle of the park by the experienced Wayne Curtis, after boss Darren Edmondson admitted negotiations over a contract were underway.
If Curtis does not join in time, Mark Sloan, the 19-year-old who has impressed during pre-season, is expected to start.
Captain David Hewson will be in the squad, despite suffering knee cartilage problems.
A specialist confirmed he could take part, but said he would need to monitor the situation.
News that Lee Andrews is fit to start alongside Kyle May is also a major boost.
It was feared Andrews would need four months out with chronic tendonitis, but scans revealed he only has a hernia in his groin.
Andrews needs an operation, and is expected to miss a month of the season, but no date has been set.
Anthony Wright (fractured tibia), and Dan Wordsworth (ankle) remain long-term absentees.
Work is continuing to bring fresh faces in with Edmondson expecting at least one new player in.
He said: “We are not scared heading into the season. In fact, we embrace it.
“Last season there was one or two players in the squad that didn’t show the right attitude, and we have addressed that.
“Individual egos do not matter. It’s about getting it right as a team, and making sure this club not only survives, but thrives.
“The entire squad is raring to go, and excited about what the next eight months may bring.
“We will surprise people this year. No one expects us take points against Stalybridge, Chester, Halifax or Guiseley except us.
“There is a self belief in this dressing room that we can achieve good things.”
l Alec Graham, Reds’ new general manager – Page 18.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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